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Showing posts from April, 2012


Look it up, it's not a word! I found out because I looked it up when my wife texted me the following: "CaniculaterAbaa."

I initially thought that she was using auto-completion and that the cell phone changed what she was texting to something else. Then I figured out that she was saying (without spaces) "Can I see/call [not sure which] you later?" asking me either where to find me or for me to wait to call her. I was trying to call her while she was in a meeting.

I'm still trying to figure out what she meant by "Abaa" (or what the cell phone changed her texting to). Mby it ws jst hr bsntmnddly pnchng xtr bttns.

Ah, the joys of texting.

Movie Review: A Better Life - Part 2

This is the second part of a two-part review of A Better Life. The first part dealt more with the background issue of illegal immigration, whereas this part focuses more on the movie itself.

In the movie, neither the undocumented immigrants (representative of all the undocumented, but particularly those with upright motives) nor the police (representative of the legal system, including courts, prisons, and immigration) is entirely at fault. Both are stuck in an imperfect, human system.

The viewer is led to sympathize with the undocumented man, an honest landscaper who wants nothing but to work hard so that his one son can have a better life. He’s away from home; his wife left him when his son was little; he has next to nothing; when he does acquire something (a lawn business and pickup with equipment) it gets stolen from him. And yet, the movie does not excuse what he does wrong nor does it try to show him as a man victimized and ruined by the consequences of his actions.

Apart fr…

Movie Review: A Better Life - Part 1

This is the first part of a two-part review. This first part of the movie review focuses on the background issue. The second part focuses on the movie itself.
A Better Lifeis probably one of the better movies of 2011. It has excellent acting for an excellent story, covering the range of human emotion and experience without an unrealistically tragic or idealistic resolution. But above all, it handles a charged political issue (illegal immigration in the United States) from a decidedly apolitical perspective.

I am keenly interested in the illegal immigration issue because my wife is both Mexican and documented (and has always been documented and is now a citizen; what can I say, we both grew up in privilege). Because of her nationality, and because we both speak Spanish, we have many Hispanic friends, a majority of whom are probably undocumented immigrants. My issue with the illegal immigration issue, however, is that people on either side tend to be blind to valid arguments of the other…

Pragmatics and a Pragmatic Apology

Ozzie Guillén is a famous and successful baseball manager, currently helming the Miami Marlins baseball team--and he is a person who should probably just plan to be quiet when in public. His most recent loosening of the tongue got him in trouble because 1) he said that he loved and respected Fidel Castro (who should certainly be loved, though not in the way Guillén meant, but should certainly not be respected) and 2) he said this as the manager of the Miami Marlins, who have a huge new stadium in the middle of Little Havana in Miami, where thousands of people who have all but had their lives ruined by the evil of Castro live and work.
So Guillén apologized. He was right to, if it was sincere. I can't judge whether it was, but I can find fault with at least one thing he said in his apology, that makes me wonder slightly if it was a purely pragmatic apology. As quoted in the Los Angeles Times article, the manager said, "I was thinking in Spanish and I said it wrong in English.&…


最近The Toyota Wayを読んでいて、大成功のトヨタ自動車株式会社の重要な。「改善」という考え方は何よりも中心な原理です。改善というのは、